How to Survive and Thrive in Your First 90 Days on the Job
In elementary school, your life revolved around marking periods.
In college, you were judged by the semester.
If you just landed your first job in the insurance industry, you’ll soon learn that everyone’s focused on the quarter — three months, or 90 days. It’s how companies are evaluated, and sometimes how employees are measured as well.
Think of your first 90 days at your new job as the first quarter of the rest of your career. It’s symbolic and can influence how you are perceived by your supervisors and co-workers for the rest of your time at the company.
There’s a lot of advice out there about how to make the most of these vital first three months. We’ve compiled the best advice and added our own firsthand understanding of what it takes to succeed in the insurance world.
Listen first, talk second
Even though you just spent the past 17 or 18 years in school, you still have a lot to learn when you start your first job. The smartest thing you can do is open yourself to your surroundings and absorb as much information as you can from supervisors and co-workers.
Meanwhile, the most unwise thing you can do is immediately start acting as if you know everything there is to know. It’s important to take time to understand the field you’re in and better grasp the personality dynamics in your office. When in doubt, be humble and be attentive.
Build relationships vertically and horizontally
It’s important to establish strong connections with your boss and co-workers, but many new hires make the mistake of creating connections with just their bosses or their co-workers.
If you learn to relate only with your co-workers, it may make it harder to work closely with your supervisor, as well as cause you to miss out on a chance to learn a lot from a senior professional. If you learn to relate only with your boss, you might miss the potential for networking and learning from your peers.
Early on, go above and beyond
We hear from a lot of employers that they simply don’t feel as if new hires really care that much. That sounds counterintuitive; usually, new employees are ready to prove themselves and have the energy to do it. However, they often give off the wrong impression because they don’t understand how their actions are being perceived.
So, when you’re still new to a company, default all your answers to “yes” when asked for help. Show up early and stay half an hour late at least one day a week to get some extra work done or practice something new. Ask questions when you don’t understand what’s happening. And solicit feedback on how you’re doing. Show that you’re eager to learn more and want to contribute as soon as possible.
Prove your insurance interest
The insurance industry has a number of avenues for advancement, and typically the people who advance fastest are those who take advantage of these opportunities. One of the most straightforward paths to accelerate your career early on is through professional education programs.
In addition to basic continuing education courses to keep you up to speed on the latest trends in the field or deepen your knowledge of the fundamentals, dozens of designation and certification programs exist that will quickly give you insight into the industry. Also, there are plenty of industry publications to help you stay up-to-date on current industry trends and topics.
This sort of dedication can go a long way, creating success for many quarters to come.